Sarah Honig is the darling of Jerusalem Post readers, if the comments and ratings to her op-eds are any indication.
Her latest, Another Tack: Nessie and why Obama can’t, says that "Israeli-Arab peace" is a Loch Ness monster, i.e., a fantasy. Quite a few readers at Mondoweiss might agree with this analogy, but not with Honig’s outrageous propagandizing.
Honig goes after Obama for his unfair handling of Israel, blaming it on "postmodernist evenhandedness." It’s the usual hasbara: Netanyahu offered unprecedented concessions and was met only with unprecedented Palestinian demands.
I won’t regurgitate all of her shtick, but will call Honig out for the following mendacious garbage:
As our own region proves time and again, myths can be lucrative, self-perpetuating and more compelling than unpleasant truth. The myth of an Israeli-Arab peace, like Nessie, is too good a moneymaker to let go of. Lots of folks make their living off it. They have a vested interest in keeping it alive, the consequences be damned.
NGOs worldwide rake in profits from their tireless “peace efforts.” What would they do without that little awful Jewish state? They churn out position papers, formulate proposals, produce damning documentaries to expose Israeli villainy, mold de rigueur opinions, raise funds for Hamas saints, dispatch activists and demonstrators against us, attract attention with assorted boycotts and initiate arrest warrants against our defenders and elected representatives. It’s a veritable industry and its business is booming.
So are its local subsidiaries. Miscellaneous left-wing outfits within Israel mushroom and thrive on handouts from foreign self-professed do-gooders. The inflow of cash buys friends, influences people and facilitates the takeover of airtime and tabloid pages. By dominating the media they dominate public discourse. They change mind-sets.
Which are the NGOs raking in profits from their Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts? Not the ones Honig ridicules. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are favorite targets of rabid Israeli supporters these days. What would AI and HRW do "without that awful little Jewish state"? Plenty, as even the slightest perusal of their activities and reports would demonstrate.
Honig is even more shrill than the usual supporter of an oppressive regime that finds itself criticized by a human rights organization. Whether it’s the defenders of the Soviet Union, Pinochet’s Chile, Communist China, Argentina of the Generals, Castro’s Cuba, Apartheid South Africa, or Iran of the Ayatollahs or the Shah, the tune is always the same. Such attacks on the messengers have been heard since the first HROs emerged in the sixties and seventies. NGOs are useful tools when they criticize your enemies, but become your enemy when they criticize your own bad behavior or that of your allies. Anyone who has worked for these organizations in a non-partisan manner knows the score.
It’s beyond chutzpah for Honig to be talking about individuals and organizations making money off of Israeli criticism. Who are the NGO leaders that earn salaries equal to the $600,000 plus that Abraham Fox of the ADL and Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Weisenthal Center and Holocaust Museum pull down? For the Hiers it has become a family business – adding the income of his wife and son, the compensation exceeds $1 milion per year. David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, which runs a separate foreign policy for American Jews, and Howard Kohr, executive director of AIPAC, are comparable paupers taking only $450-460,000 per year.
I recently met an ex-IDF officer who is now a member of Combatants for Peace, a group of Palestinians and Israelis that "had taken an active part in the cycle of violence in previous years and later on decided to put down their arms. CFP is a bi-national movement committed to non-violent activism and conscientious objection." Trying to raise some funding, this Israeli-Palestinian NGO has a proposed budget of $222,000 with the highest salary for staff budgeted at $24,000. Frau Honig, where is the profit-raking in that? Could you bother to name those dedicated Israeli NGO members who are living the high life off illicit subsidies from such nefarious organizations as the EU, and the governments of Norway and the Netherlands?
Whereas the finances of the NGOs that Honig considers subversive and traitorous are fairly transparent, the finances of many of her Zionist allies are shrouded in secrecy and funneled through US NPOs in order to collect dubious tax deductions. Im Tirtzu, which orchestrated the recent attack on the New Israeli Fund, as much as admitted the tax dodge.
Thank God for the Jerusalem Post. According to Honig, the rest of the Israeli media has been infiltrated and bought off by Israeli NGOs fronting for foreign enemies.
Maybe Honig would be willing to tell us her income for her slavish defense of Israeli actions at the Jerusalem Post and other places. Those of us who contribute to Mondoweiss would be encouraged to learn that such dedicated Zionists as Honig were acting out of conscience and not pecuniary reward just like us. Is there anyone critical of Israel who isn’t aware that the earnings and opportunities are much greater if you serve the Israeli Lobby?
Is any party gaining more economic benefit from "the myth of an Israeli-Arab peace" than Israel itself? By holding out the possibility of this ever elusive peace, Israel gets its occupation funded by the rest of the world. Instead of having to pay for the welfare of the occupied as required by international law, Israel makes sure that its businesses get their cut for any goods imported into the territories and for any economic activity which is actually allowed in the Palestinian areas.
As a carrot to get Israel to take daring steps for peace, the EU, the US and every other Western economic institution have bent over backwards to grant Israel favorable access and status. For the same empty promises, Israel is rewarded multiple times.
Since Israel has "to feel secure" in order to make peace, America arms it to the teeth with generous military aid and the latest technology, and grants it unprecedented access to the US defense market where it competes on favorable terms with US firms. Moreover, the US buys off the repressive governments of Egypt and Jordan in order to keep them committed to the "peace" charade.
It appears the war against those critical of the Gaza invasion has only just begun. Sarah Honig shows how far mainstream Israeli supporters are willing to go to demonize these critics.